Making your homemade salted peanuts in the shell is easy and fun! You can create delicious gourmet roasted peanuts with a signature salty crunch with just a few simple ingredients and steps.
This guide will walk you through the entire process, from rinsing and drying the raw peanuts to soaking them in a salty brine solution and roasting them to crispy, salty perfection. With the right techniques, you’ll end up with irresistible salty snacks that put store-bought peanuts to shame. So grab some raw peanuts, and let’s get started!
- Raw peanuts with the shell
- Large pot with lid
- Baking sheet
Prepare the Peanuts
First, you’ll need raw, unshelled peanuts to make salted peanuts in the shell. It’s important to carefully inspect the peanut shells and select peanuts with undamaged, intact shells. Peanuts with cracked or broken shells will allow moisture to penetrate during salting, making them prone to spoilage.
Once you’ve chosen peanuts with sound shells, rinse the peanuts thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt, dust, or other debris clinging to the shells. Be sure to rinse all surfaces of the peanuts. Lingering field soil can introduce microbes that can cause the peanuts to spoil faster. A good rinse ensures you start with clean peanuts.
After rinsing the peanuts, pat them completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. Getting the shells as dry as possible before salting helps the salt stick evenly over the shell surface. Any moisture on the shells will hinder the salt from sticking properly. Drying also prevents excess moisture from being trapped under the salt layer, which can foster microbial growth and quicker spoilage.
Make the Brine
To make the salty brine that will flavor and preserve the peanuts, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. The large pot allows room for the peanuts to be added later. And reaching a full rolling boil ensures the water is hot enough to quickly dissolve the salt.
Once the water has reached a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Boiling can evaporate some of the water, so taking it off the heat prevents too much loss. Then, stir 1 cup of salt into the hot water until it fully dissolves. The hot water enables the salt to dissolve efficiently. Dissolving the salt completely prevents overly salty pockets or uneven distribution later.
After adding and dissolving the salt, allow the brine to cool to room temperature before using it. A hot brine could damage the peanuts. Cooling it down first helps keep the peanuts intact. Cooling may allow any remaining grainy salt to fully incorporate into the now-saturated saltwater brine.
Soak the Peanuts
Now that the brine is prepared place the dried, rinsed peanuts directly into the saltwater brine pot. Be sure the peanuts are fully submerged in the liquid. Having them completely covered helps ensure even exposure to the salty solution.
Cover the pot and let the peanuts soak in the brine for at least 8 hours. A minimum 8-hour soak allows the salt solution to thoroughly penetrate the shells and infuse into the peanuts. You can soak them for up to 12 hours for maximum salty flavor infusion. Be careful not to oversoak, as too much time can make them overly salty.
Once the desired soak time has elapsed, drain the salty brine solution from the pot and give the peanuts a brief fresh water rinse to wash away any excess surface salt. Then, pat the peanuts completely dry once more with towels. The rinse and dryness prevent any residual damp salt on the shells from causing them to stick together. Drying them again also helps give the salted peanuts an appetizing crunchy texture.
Roast the Peanuts
With the peanuts soaked and dried, the final step is roasting them in the oven. First, preheat your oven to 250°F to give it time to fully reach the low roasting temperature.
Next, spread the soaked, dried peanuts in a single loose layer on a baking sheet. A crowded pan will prevent proper air circulation and even cooking. A single layer allows the hot air to circulate each peanut.
Roast the peanuts for 45-60 minutes, shaking the pan or stirring them occasionally for even exposure to the heat. This low temperature gently roasts them while preventing scorching.
The peanuts are ready when they take on a nice golden brown color and become very fragrant. The total roasting time will vary based on your oven and peanut size. Go by color and aroma rather than time alone to know when they are perfectly roasted.
Allow the salted in-shell peanuts to cool before serving for irresistible crunchy, salty snacking!
Cool and Store
After roasting, remove the peanuts from the oven and allow them to cool completely before storing. Storing them while still warm risks moisture condensation inside the storage container, leading to premature spoilage.
Allowing the peanuts to cool completely brings them to room temperature, where any internal steam can dissipate naturally. Cooling also helps crispen up the texture of the shells.
For storage, place the cooled salted peanuts in an airtight container. An airtight seal prevents moisture from entering and preserves freshness. Properly stored in an airtight container, these homemade salted peanuts in the shell will keep for two weeks at room temperature.
Enjoy your fresh roasted gourmet salted peanuts for the best flavor and texture within two weeks. The airtight storage prevents them from losing their signature crunch.
When making your own roasted salted peanuts in the shell at home, keep these tips in mind:
- For the brine solution, use natural sea salt or kosher salt rather than iodized table salt to allow the pure salty flavor to come through. The additives in iodized salt can add unwanted flavors.
- Add cayenne pepper or other dried spices to the brine to heat your salted peanuts. This will infuse the peanuts with a spicy flavor.
- In addition to spice, you can also customize the flavor by stirring garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or other dried herbs and spices into the brine. Get creative with the seasonings!
- Roasting the peanuts at a lower oven temperature of 250°F gives you better control and helps preserve the signature peanut crunch. Higher heat risks over-roasting.
- Allowing the just-roasted peanuts to cool completely before eating ensures they reach optimal crispy, crunchy texture. Eating them warm slightly softens the crunch.
- For storage, an airtight container in a cool, dry place will maintain freshness and prevent sogginess. The cool environment retains the shells’ crispness.
This simple process for brining, drying, and roasting peanuts results in the ultimate salty and crunchy snack. Adjust the salt level to taste, and add your unique spices and flavors to customize your salted peanuts.
Proper storage in an airtight container will help retain freshness and that signature peanut crunch. Making your own allows you to control the ingredients resulting in a fun healthier snack.
Q: What kind of peanuts work best for this recipe?
A: Raw, unshelled peanuts with undamaged, intact shells work best. Avoid cracked shells.
Q: How long should I soak the peanuts in brine?
A: Soak for at least 8 to 12 hours for maximum salt flavor infusion.
Q: What oven temperature should I use to roast the peanuts?
A: Roast at 250°F for 45-60 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
Q: How long will homemade salted peanuts last stored properly?
A: Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, they’ll stay fresh for two weeks.
Q: Can I adjust the salt level or add other flavors?
A: Yes, customize to taste by altering the salt amount or adding spices, garlic, etc., to the brine.